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Best DD-WRT Routers [2022]

The Best DD-WRT Routers harness the power of Open-Source technologies, allowing you to tweak your home or office network to get better security, wider coverage, faster speeds, and much more.

DD-WRT is an Open-Source firmware for routers that you can use to get more out of your router. Think of it as an Operating System for your router that allows you several functionalities like you would on your desktop computer.

You can install a VPN, a Traffic Manager, a Firewall, and pretty much any other software on the router to protect and empower the entire network rather than individual nodes. And that’s not all; using DD-WRT, you can ramp up the signal’s power so that wireless signals cover a wider area, allowing more devices to connect to it.

Thus, it is ideal for office networks where you’ll need that added layer of security to prevent malicious attacks on your company’s precious resources. Further, the network management tools will allow you to manage the network by allowing you to prioritize data packets for more sensitive tasks. So, network administrators will love the flexibility and added customizations these routers bring.

However, DD-WRT routers are not for everyone; you have to be familiar with the flashing (read installation) process as you run the risk of voiding the warranty or, worse, “bricking” the router.

But some routers come with DD-WRT pre-installed, allowing you to skip the installation part and go straight to the customization of the network setting.

We’ve curated a list of the best DD-WRT routers, which includes pre-installed DD-WRT routers. We’ll review each and highlight what makes them the best. Next, we’ll discuss the key considerations to keep in mind when you want to buy a DD-WRT router. And we’ll close by answering a few frequently asked questions.

Comparison of the Best DD-WRT Routers

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
ASUS RT-AC5300 Router on Amazon
ASUS RT-AC5300 Router Wireless: Wi-Fi 5
Processor: Broadcom
BCM47094 1.4GHz
Flash: 128MB
RAM: 512MB
Coverage: 5000Sq.Ft.
Devices: N.A.
Buy on Amazon
D-Link Wi-Fi Router (DIR-882-US) on Amazon
D-Link Wi-Fi Router (DIR-882-US) Wireless: Wi-Fi 5
Processor: MediaTek
MT7621AT 880MHz
Flash: 16MB
RAM: 128MB
Coverage: 1800Sq.Ft.
Devices: 15
Buy on Amazon
ASRock G10 Gaming Router on Amazon
ASRock G10 Gaming Router Wireless: Wi-Fi 5
Processor: Qualcomm
IPQ8064 1.4GHz
Flash: 128MB
RAM: 512MB
Coverage: N.A.
Devices: N.A.
Buy on Amazon
Linksys WRT3200ACM on Amazon
Linksys WRT3200ACM Wireless: Wi-Fi 5
Processor: Marvell 88F6925 1.8GHz
Flash: 256MB
RAM: 512MB
Coverage: N.A.
Devices: N.A.
Buy on Amazon
NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7000) on Amazon
NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7000) Wireless: Wi-Fi 5
Processor: Broadcom BCM4709A0 1.0GHz
Flash: 128MB
RAM: 258MB
Coverage: 1800Sq.Ft.
Devices: 30
Buy on Amazon
TP-Link Archer C3200 Wi-Fi Router on Amazon
TP-Link Archer C3200 Wi-Fi Router Wireless: Wi-Fi 5
Processor: Broadcom BCM4709A0 1.0GHz
Flash: 128MB
RAM: 258MB
Coverage: N.A.
Devices: N.A.
Buy on Amazon
Linksys EA9500 Wi-Fi 5 Router on Amazon
Linksys EA9500 Wi-Fi 5 Router Wireless: Wi-Fi 5
Processor: Broadcom
BCM4709C0 1.4GHz
Flash: 128MB
RAM: 258MB
Coverage: 3000
Devices: 25
Buy on Amazon
Buffalo AirStation N300 (WHR-300HP2D) on Amazon
Buffalo AirStation N300 (WHR-300HP2D) Wireless: Wi-Fi 5
Processor: MediaTek
MT7620A 580MHz
Flash: 8MB
RAM: 64 M.B.
Coverage: N.A.
Devices: N.A.
Buy on Amazon

1. ASUS RT-AC5300 Router – DD-WRT Router with the Best Coverage

The Asus RT-AC5300 offers broad coverage of 5000Sq. Ft, wide enough for a big house or a small office. And if you need a wider network, you can integrate the Asus RT-AC5300 router with a Wi-Fi mesh for added convenience.

The router has a 1.4GHz Broadcom BCM47094 processor with a 128MB flash and 512MB RAM to flash the DD-WRT firmware and install all the apps you need to manage your network. Of course, with a powerful router configuration, you’ll extensively customize the level of security and performance of the network.

The router offers triband streaming, so get one 2.4GHz and dual 5GHz channels. It adheres to the IEEE 802.11ac standards, so you’ll only get Wi-Fi 5 capabilities. But with a maximum bandwidth of 5334Mbps, you can easily play games and stream all the 4K videos you want to watch.

The router has one WAN port, and you get four Ethernet ports to connect all your network devices. And two USB ports, one each of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, allow you to connect storage devices to use as Network Attached Storage (NAS) components for added convenience.

Further, if you find DD-WRT too complex, Asus offers AiProtection, which includes Two-Way Intrusion Prevention, malicious site block, and protection from infected devices. Asus includes a suite of Traffic Control tools at your fingertip that you can conveniently access via a mobile app. Or, use the built-in VPN client and server tools for added protection from malicious threats.

Our Take

The Asus RT-AC5300 is a versatile DD-WRT router that offers eight external antennas, triband and MU-MIMO. Thus, you get the essential physical infrastructure to run a robust and secure DD-WRT-enabled router that delivers top-notch performance and wide coverage.

PROS
  • The 5000Sq.Ft coverage will cover a large house or small office.
  • It is suitable for a Wi-Fi mesh network to expand coverage.
  • The triband channels provide more bandwidth with minimal interference.
  • Adaptive QoS allows you to prioritize gaming data packets.
  • Highly customizable and convenient to manage via a mobile app.
CONS
  • Expensive
  • The bulky design requires plenty of space.

The D-Link DIR-882 is the best router if you consume plenty of 4K content. It offers a broad bandwidth and has a 4×4 data stream, ideal for environments with several competing devices. So, you can connect all your IoT devices and stream your favorite videos hassle-free.

The router comes with a dual-core MediaTek MT7621AT 880MHz processor, which is enough to get the essential DD-WRT functionalities up and running. The 16 M.B. flash and 128MB RAM are functional, and you won’t have a problem running a few essential apps on the router.

The Wi-Fi 5 infrastructure includes four external antennas, support for MU-MIMO, and an aggregated bandwidth of up to 2533Mbps. This includes the 800Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1733Mbps over a single 5GHz channel.

The D-Link DIR-882 is more compact compared to the Asus, so that you won’t need as much space. This is primarily due to the lower specifications and fewer antennas that the D-Link router has. The lower specification gives you a modest 1800Sq. Ft of coverage with connectivity for only 15 devices at a time, making it ideal for a mid-size home.

The router has one WAN and four Ethernet ports to connect all your network peripherals. You also get one port each for USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 to connect NAS devices.

Our Take

The D-Link DIR-882-US is perfect for homes up to 1800Sq. Ft. and there are a limited number of devices. It offers all the essential Wi-Fi 5 features, which means you get dual-band frequencies with MU-MIMO support to run all your IoT devices. Out of the box, the router has few security and management features, but that won’t matter once you get DD-WRT going.

PROS
  • Support for MU-MIMO allows several devices to work simultaneously.
  • The combined bandwidth of 2533Mbps allows you to stream 4K videos easily.
  • The USB ports provide a good NAS experience.
  • Quality of Service (QoS) feature allows you to prioritize network traffic.
  • The mid-range price makes it an affordable option for most home use.
CONS
  • Limited bandwidth for the price you pay.
  • Customizing the setting is challenging.

3. ASRock G10 Gaming Router – Best DD-WRT for Gaming

The ASRock G10 offers a mixed bag in terms of performance. It delivers excellent gaming performance thanks to the QoS feature that prioritizes gaming packets and provides an unmatched immersive gaming experience.

The G10 comes with a robust set of specifications, including a 1.4GHz Qualcomm IPQ8064 processor. ASRock also includes a healthy 128MB Flash and 512MB RAM, which should help you extract extraordinary performance from the router when using DD-WRT firmware. However, out of the box, these specifications seem caged, and while you get impressive speeds on the 5GHz channel, the 2.4GHz channel leaves you wanting more.

Nevertheless, it includes Wi-Fi 5 essentials, and you get MU-MIMO and a combined bandwidth of 2533Mbps. It has a 4×4 internal antenna array and supports beamforming to provide fast and reliable Wi-Fi connectivity.

The G10 is unique because it includes a dongle that acts as a portable router, and you can also use it as a video streaming device, similar to Google Chromecast. The main unit of the ASRock G10 router has one WAN, four Ethernet, and two USB 3.0 ports, which gives you plenty of connectivity options for your network devices. And the dongle has a WAN port and HDMI connector to plug into your hotel room T.V. when traveling.

The router comes with Game Boost to enhance your gaming performance. You can tweak performance by changing the setting using the Web Interface or the ASRock Router App, which provides unmatched convenience.

Our Take

The ASRock G10 is a fantastic gaming router with excellent performance and incredible convenience. However, at best, the performance is at par with the leading routers, and considering the price you pay for the G10, it is natural to expect more. But the G10 is unique, as it includes a portable HDMI 2-in-1 router which you’ll find extremely handy on your travels.

PROS
  • The QoS features include Game Boost, which enhances gaming performance.
  • Excellent data speed on the 5GHz channel.
  • MU-MIMO allows multiple devices to communicate simultaneously.
  • The high-end specifications are adequate for a comprehensive DD-WRT implementation.
CONS
  • Expensive
  • The 2.4GHz channel delivers less than ordinary data speeds.

4. Linksys WRT3200ACM – Best Open-Source DD-WRT Router

The Linksys WRT3200ACM is the best Open-Source DD-WRT router. The OpenWRT and DD-WRT project traces their origins to the earlier versions of the Linksys WRT series routers. Hence, it’s no surprise that the Linksys WRT3200ACM offers the best Open-Source router experience.

The router has a 1.8GHz Marvell 88F6925 processor, among the highest, if not the highest-powered, device on the market. It also packs a colossal 256MB flash and 512MB RAM to run a full feature implementation of the DD-WRT firmware to maximize utility.

The router supports Tri-stream 160 and MU-MIMO for higher bandwidths and more devices that communicate simultaneously. This is a dual-band router that, thanks to Tri-stream 160, delivers a bandwidth of 2600Mbps on the 5GHz channel. You also get an additional 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz channel.

The Linksys WRT3200ACM comes with all the bells and whistles, including a mobile app that makes network management super convenient. You also get Guest Access, Device Prioritization, and Parental Control to keep your network safe from online threats.

The router offers the popular port configuration of one WAN and four Ethernet ports. But apart from the USB 3.0 port, you also get an eSATA port to hook up a hard drive allowing all the nodes to access it.

Our Take

The Linksys WRT3200ACM offers the best Open-Source experience using either OpenWRT or DD-WRT. It ensures excellent data throughput on the 5GHz channel and pairs that with high-end specifications allowing you to harness the full power of the DD-WRT firmware.

PROS
  • The 1.8GHz processor and high-capacity RAM ensure a full-feature implementation of DD-WRT.
  • Tri-Stream 160 doubles the bandwidth of the 5GHz band by using 160MHz channels.
  • The eSATA port allows you to connect external hard drives as NAS devices.
  • MU-MIMO allows multiple devices to communicate simultaneously.
CONS
  • Expensive
  • The 2.4GHz band’s throughput is disappointing.

5. NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7000) – DD-WRT Router with VPN

The Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Wi-Fi router comes with a full VPN that gives you that added bit of security. But if you’re going to use the DD-WRT firmware, you’ll most likely want to use OpenVPN and configure it to suit your need. Nevertheless, it’s good to have the option in case you find the DD-WRT firmware overwhelming to install.

The Nighthawk R7000 has a 1.0GHz Broadcom BCM4709A0 processor, which is not the most powerful processor among similar routers, but you won’t have a problem running a DD-WRT distribution. It also comes with healthy 128MB flash and 256MB RAM, meaning you can use all that DD-WRT has to offer.

The router offers wireless coverage of 1800Sq. Ft, and you can connect up to 30 devices. So, you’ll be able to connect all your IoT devices and have your smart home infrastructure working like a charm.

The Nighthawk comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports and one WAN port. You also get USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports to connect storage or shared peripheral devices like printers. Netgear also includes a convenient mobile app to help you remotely manage your router.

Our Take

The Nighthawk is another excellent router for a mid-sized home with plenty of IoT or home-automation devices. It offers plenty of convenience via the mobile app, allowing you to manage the device easily. Further, the fully functional VPN out of the box will keep all your online activity safe even if you choose not to install the DD-WRT distro.

PROS
  • A fully functional VPN out of the box keeps your online presence secure.
  • It provides coverage for 30 devices over 1800Sq. Ft.
  • The mid-to-high range configurations allow you to install a fully functional DD-WRT implementation.
  • It offers two USB ports for connecting storage and peripheral devices.
CONS
  • The 600Mbps 2.4GHz throughput is below par for similar routers.
  • The web interface offers limited functionality

The Archer C3200 is a highly customizable router that you can easily manage using its intuitive web-based interface or a mobile app. And the TP-Link router comes with a generous 2-year warranty with 24/7 tech support should anything go wrong.

The Archer C3200 comes with a Broadcom BCM4709A0 1.0GHz, 128MB Flash, and 256MB RAM. This means that you can use a fully functional DD-WRT distro with all the features to administer your network efficiently.

It comes with six external antennae, supports MU-MIMO, and offers a combined bandwidth of 3.2Gbps. So, you get a congestion-free network that supports multiple devices simultaneously and provide high-speed data throughput. The ports configuration holds no surprises, the C3200 comes with four One-Gigabit Ethernet, one WAN, and a couple of USB ports to connect storage or shared printers.

The TP-Link Archer C3200 offers dual 5GHz bands in addition to one 2.4GHz band. While the two 5GHz bands offer 1300Mbps each, the 2.4GHz band offers 600Mbps speed. Thus, you get three Wi-Fi networks that allow you to connect to the least congested one and prevent bandwidth loss to other, more critical devices on the network.

Our Take

If you like to tinker around with your network settings and need plenty of features to help you maintain a fast and congestion-free network, the Archer C3200 is for you. The router is a highly customizable device, even if you don’t harness the power of DD-WRT and want to use it straight out of the box.

PROS
  • The triband frequencies allow you three congestion-free networks.
  • The mobile app makes it convenient to manage the network remotely.
  • Two years warranty and 24/7 tech support keep you safe when you need help.
  • Plenty of features allow you to customize the network setting for better performance.
CONS
  • USB file sharing could be more reliable.
  • The web interface is complicated for beginners.

7. Linksys EA9500 Wi-Fi 5 Router – Best Triband DD-WRT Router

Like the TP-Link, the Linksys EA9500 is also a triband DD-WRT router but offers a combined bandwidth of 4.93Gbps, which is noticeably higher. Thus, making it the better of the two tri-band routers.

The EA9500 comes with a Broadcom BCM4709C0 1.4GHz processor, 128MB Flash, and 256MB RAM. Thus, you’ll be able to install and use a full-feature DD-WRT firmware and make the most of it.

It’s great even if you choose to use it out of the box, as Linksys offers all the essential tools to manage your network conveniently. These include device prioritization, parental control, and guest access. And you can manage and control all of this using the mobile app or the web interface.

The router has a 3000Sq. Ft. range, and you can connect up to 25 devices. It supports MU-MIMO and Beamforming technologies to offer fast and reliable connections to all the devices to communicate simultaneously.

The Linksys EA9500 is perfect for home offices because it offers one WAN and eight Gigabit LAN ports, allowing you to build a small network using one device.

Our Take

The Linksys EA9500 offers a decongested triband Wi-Fi network allowing you to connect up to 25 devices using reliable beamforming technology. It provides high-end specifications that’ll ensure you avail the maximum benefits of the DD-WRT firmware. And with its 3000Sq. Ft. coverage and support for up to 25 connected devices, it is perfect for a home office.

PROS
  • It provides coverage for 25 devices over 3000Sq. Ft.
  • MU-MIMO allows multiple devices to communicate simultaneously.
  • The combined bandwidth of 4.93Gbps and triband support provide fast and congestion-free networks.
  • Eight Gigabit Ethernet ports make it ideal for a home office.
CONS
  • Very Expensive
  • Bulky design

8. Buffalo AirStation N300 (WHR-300HP2D) – Cheapest DD-WRT Router

The Buffalo WHR-300HP2D has two huge advantages over the DD-WRT routers on the list.

Firstly, it is the cheapest DD-WRT router on the market, making it the natural choice for beginners and novices. But cheap also means that Buffalo cuts corners, and you don’t get the best in terms of performance.

More importantly, the router does away with the complications and risks of installing the DD-WRT firmware. The router comes with DD-WRT per-installed so that you can hit the ground running as soon as you unbox the device.

However, looking at the specifications, you realize that you get little by way of specifications. The WHR-300HP2D comes with a MediaTek MT7620A 580MHz processor, 8 M.B. Flash, and 64MB RAM. This is enough to install and run a primary DD-WRT distro with the bare essential functionality.

Further, where most other routers offer USB ports to connect shared storage or peripheral devices, the WHR-300HP2D provides none. What’s worse, the internal antenna array also limits the range, so keep that in mind when you are finalizing the placement of the device.

Our Take

The Buffalo WHR-300HP2D is unmatched for value, and with DD-WRT pre-installed, it trumps most other routers for ease of use. But the low-price tag also means lower specifications which limit the number of use cases for the WHR-300HP2D.

PROS
  • Price
  • Pre-installed DD-WRT means you don’t run the risk of “bricking” the router.
  • Support of OpenVPN for added security.
  • You get plenty of QoS features, including some for allocating bandwidth and prioritizing data packets.
CONS
  • No USB ports for connecting and sharing storage devices.
  • Low-end specifications limit the actual use cases.

Best DD-WRT Routers – Our Buying Guide

Here are some vital considerations to keep in mind while buying a DD-WRT Router

Bands and Bandwidth

Most routers offer a dual-band or tri-band setup. While dual-band routers offer a 2.4GHz and 5GHz band, a tri-band router provides an additional 5GHz band that decongests your network by distributing the load onto three sub-networks. But tri-band routers are more expensive, making them suitable for congested environments where availability is of prime importance.

Triband routers offer better data speed than dual-band routers with an additional 5GHz channel and support for 160MHz channels. Not all tri-band routers offer 160MHz channels, so make sure to check this before you buy one.

Multi User – Multi Input Multi Output (MU-MIMO)

MU-MIMO allows compatible devices to transmit and receive data to and from the router simultaneously. Thus, you get a faster and more efficient network as no users need to wait for their turn and can start transferring data when they are ready.

Specifications

DD-WRT routers need processors, RAM, and Flash memory. While high-performance processors offer dual-core configurations and speeds of up to 1.8GHz, they are expensive and would be overkill for most home network setups.

Similarly, the Flash and RAM play a crucial role in determining what your DD-WRT distro implementation is capable of doing. Naturally, you’ll need a healthy Flash and RAM if you want a fully functional DD-WRT router. A quick analysis of your need will help you understand what specifications suit your need.

Coverage and Connected Devices

You’ll want your router to provide adequate coverage so that there aren’t any Wi-Fi dead zones in your house and office. So, make sure to check what kind of coverage the router offers.

Further, routers have a limit on the number of devices that can connect to them. While counting the number of devices, remember to count all the smart home and IoT devices. It’s also advisable to provide for a little more than the count as you will sooner or later add new devices, or you may like to cater to a few guest devices.

Ports

It is common for a router to offer one WAN, four Ethernet ports, and a couple of USB ports. However, some routers provide more, so if you have a home office, such a router will provide the ideal solution to your need.

Best DD-WRT Routers – Frequently Asked Questions

Can I install DD-WRT on any Router?

It would be best if you had a compatible router to install the DD-WRT firmware. To see the list of compatible routers, head over to the “Supported Devices” section on DD-WRT’s official website or click here.

Can I use DD-WRT to increase the wireless range of my router?

DD-WRT allows you to modify the power to the wireless signal so that you can increase the range of your Wi-Fi network.

Does DD-WRT support VPN?

DD-WRT is an Open-Source firmware and supports OpenVPN. You can use DD-WRT’s web interface to activate and configure OpenVPN to secure your network. That being said, there are some basic router models that don’t support all the OpenVPN features.

Is DD-WRT free?

DD-WRT is published under a General Public License that allows you to run, share, and modify DD-WRT for free.

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